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Posts By maegan arthurs

Variegated Spirals (versions (1, a) and (1, b)) Astrid Bowlby, 2013.  Ink on paper mounted to panel.

Small-scale fantasy drawings at Gallery Joe

(Maegan appreciates the intricacies of several ink-on-paper works, and considers how an artist might choose to let go of her work. — the artblog editors) Showing this month at Gallery Joe is Astrid Bowlby’s Sample (d)(r).  The artist has chosen to display 15 sets of two drawings each.  The drawings are barely discernibly different from one another and are composed of ink and mixed media.  Only one of the drawings from each set is for sale: the buyer’s choice. Bowlby will keep the drawing that remains from each set. Letting go after creating Bowlby says, “The title of the exhibition, ... More » »

Madonna and Child, Diane Laison. Photo credit: Jack Ramsdale.

Political action and the love of painting – Diane Laison at iMPeRFeCT Gallery

(Maegan talks with artist and long-time Temple University mathematics professor Diane Laison about her late-blooming career as a painter.–the artblog editors)  I met Diane Laison to discuss her show, Waiting for the Wars to End, at iMPeRFeCT Gallery this month.  Her use of color, texture, religious iconography, symbolism and abstraction create a show that is both emotionally and intellectually stimulating.  Through our discussion of Laison’s beginnings, I caught a glimpse of what motivates and inspires her work: a passion for political action, combined with a profound love of painting. A career in mathematics and a switch to art Although Laison ... More » »

contraction, (2013) Typed marks on carbon paper 15 5/8 x 11 ¾ inches.

Abstract and corporeal – Allyson Strafella’s studyline at Gallery Joe

(Maegan’s review talks about Allyson Strafella’s two bodies of work at Gallery Joe and finds them both evocative of visual note-taking and the private language of journaling.–the artblog editors) Allyson Strafella’s studyline at Gallery Joe features a collection of drawings of the traditional sort and those of a less traditional method.  Strafella’s trademark is her typed drawings, typically composed of numerous punctuation marks typed together in such a way as to create an image.  Aesthetically, I responded to the works’ abstraction and texture.  As a writer, I felt connected to her work on a deeper level; it is familiar, like a well-filled ... More » »

Marlo Pascual, Untitled, 2013, digital C-print, edition 1 of 2. Image courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York. Photo by Jean Vong.

Strange and edgy at Moore College of Art and Design – Kathy Butterly and Marlo Pascual

—Maegan pairs two artists at the Galleries at Moore and finds concordance in their mystique. –>the artblog editors———————> Visiting Moore College of Art and Design, I was interested by themes of the strange that echoed throughout the work of two artists showing there: Kathy Butterly and Marlo Pascual.  Butterly’s enigmatic sculptures and Pascual’s appropriated photo-installations played nicely off of one another with qualities of the puzzling, the bizarre and the humorous linking both shows. Kathy Butterly’s visionary pots Visionary Women: Kathy Butterly and Ann King Lagos focuses on the recipients of the College’s Visionary Woman Awards for 2013.  Of the ... More » »

Marisa Finos, The Last Word

Six to watch from the Clay Studio’s Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition

—>Maegan visits the Clay Studio and picks six from the graduate student exhibit that stand out from the rest. –the artblog editors———————–> The Tenth Annual Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition at the Clay Studio, features work by fifteen MFA candidates from across the United States.  The main impetus for the show according to the Clay Studio  is to “identify the best emerging ceramic artists as well as to provide support and affirmation to artists just beginning their journey.” The works this year trend towards the fantastic, and all of them fit nicely together in the space.   Of the fifteen artists on display, ... More » »

“Friends,” 2011.  “This photograph is a part of a series that I shot in 2011 of children at a home-based daycare in Germantown.  This scene, of three girls on the step, two looking in one direction with one looking in the opposite direction while one girl's hand rests on another girl's leg, is very poignant.  It has a quiet sweetness to it that I love to capture in street scenes.” - Tieshka Smith

Community in Germantown – a Discussion with Tieshka Smith

—>Maegan visits a gallery in her neighborhood and talks with the artist about community and the importance of people in a neighborhood.–the artblog editors——————–> I have been living in Germantown with my husband for the last 6 years.  Getting assigned to cover Tieshka Smith’s show, “The Other Side of Germantown” seemed too good to be true.  As a resident of this community, I have personally observed its struggles and triumphs.  I sat down with the artist at iMPeRFeCT Gallery to discuss her body of work on view here. The self-taught photographer Smith is a self-taught photographer who received her first ... More » »

"Malaysian Coral Snake," Mark Laita

Serpentine by Mark Laita – Power, grace and beauty of snakes, at the Academy of Natural Sciences

—>Maegan’s post deals with the beauty and threat of snakes, as shown in iconic photos by Mark Laita at, where else, the Academy of Natural Sciences!—the artblog editors———————————-> I am not necessarily afraid of snakes, but there is an inherent sense of danger and fear brought on by interacting with them.  In seventh grade, a snake handler was invited to our science class as a guest lecturer.  He brought in a large snake; the type escapes me, although I do remember that it was relatively harmless as far as snakes go.  Each willing student was allowed to hold the snake.  ... More » »

Willi Singleton, Woodfired functional stoneware, Photograph by Ken Ek

Open studio at Beverly Fisher’s with drawings by Fisher and pottery by Willi Singleton

—Maegan visits an artist’s studio for a show of drawings and pottery, and she finds some nice camaraderie along the way.–the artbog editors—————–> Willi Singleton and Beverly Fisher prove that the old adage is true—good things do come in small packages.  Fisher opened her studio to the public over Memorial Day weekend with invited guest, potter Willi Singleton for an intimate home show of their respective work.  Singleton displayed his handmade functional pottery in the garden, while Fisher showed her drawings inside the studio.  Their show, while small in scale, was full of vigor.  Fisher and Singleton blended fine art with ... More » »

Claire Ashley "distant landscapes: peepdyedcrevicehotpinkridge" Installation view

Claire Ashley, Jeff Huckleberry, and The Happy Collaborationists at The Icebox

Claire Ashley is a Scotland-born, Chicago-based artist who fuses sculpture and painting with a smattering of the absurd. For her latest piece, distant landscapes: peepdyedcrevicehotpinkridge, Ashley has created a series of inflatable sculptures that fill The Icebox Gallery at Crane Arts, transforming the space into a lively and cartoonish environment. Walking around the space, my husband and I decided that the forms reminded us of cloud-watching; the nebulous shapes potentially evoke any number of references. Speaking with Ashley, she confirmed that some of the forms are deliberately naturalistic (horse and cow, for example), while others are intentionally more ambiguous. Even ... More » »

“Mid Morning” Diane Pieri 20"x30"gouache, decorative papers,
block printing on Lokta paper

Vibrant Impressions in “Intimacies of India” at the Rosenfeld Gallery

—The colors and textures of India in Diane Pieri’s new works cause Maegan to dream of travel.–the artblog editors————————->I have never been to India, but it’s high on my list of places I’d like to visit. Diane Pieri’s show, Intimacies of India, is comprised of colorful mixed media paintings that reflect on a recent trip to to the country. Maybe it’s spring in the air, but seeing this show ignited in me a little wanderlust. The show feels like an impressionist’s scrapbook. Pieri’s style consists of a blend of collage, painting and printing; these traditional methods of expression lend themselves ... More » »

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